GS Paper - 3 (Defence Technology)

The Indian Navy’s dwindling submarine fleet got further depleted with the decommissioning of INS Sindhudhwaj, a Kilo Class diesel electric submarine.

What is the life of a Kilo Class submarine?

  1. INS Sindhudhwaj was in service of the Indian Navy for 35 years.
  2. It was commissioned upon acquisition from the Soviet Union in 1987 under a deal wherein ten Kilo Class diesel-electric submarines were purchased by the Indian Navy.
  3. Kilo Class submarines have a life of 30 years though after refit they can remain in service for ten more years. At least three Indian Navy Kilo Class submarines got a second medium refit in a Naval shipyard in Russia a few years back.
  4. The strength of the hull and the state of repair of the propulsion system are some of the elements which decide whether a submarine is still fit to be put out at sea after completion of its shelf life and refits.

How many submarines are now in the Indian fleet?

  1. There are now a total of 16 submarines in service in the Indian Navy, including one nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine and seven Kilo Class submarines.
  2. All Kilo Class submarines will be decommissioned in the next few years as they come to an end of their service life.
  3. Apart from the seven Kilo Class submarines, four are Shishumar Class submarines of German origin named INS Shishumar, Shankush, Shalki and Shankul and four Scorpene or Kalvari Class submarines of French origin named INS Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj and Vela.
  4. Two more Scorpene class submarines are expected to be commissioned into service by 2023.
  5. The Navy has one Arihant Class ballistic missile submarine and another one, INS Arighat, under production but its date of completion is not known.